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A Year in Smart Politics

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A look back at which political institutions were covered the most at Smart Politics in 2013

ushouseseal10.pngFor new readers of Smart Politics, this end-of-the-year report offers a slice of how the data was carved up at Smart Politics in 2013 across the more than 200 reports published on the site this year.

The plurality of coverage centered on the U.S. House of Representatives, with 73 reports focused on that institution, or 34 percent of the year's content.

A sampling of such stories includes:

· Western Women: Regional Gender Disparities in Congressional Representation

· To Serve or Represent? Website Taglines of US Representatives

· Meet the Three House Women Who Go by "Congressman"

· African-American US Representatives by the Numbers

· Running from the Flag? Old Glory Symbolism Waning on US House Campaign Websites

Sixty-three reports discussed developments in or campaigns for the U.S. Senate (30 percent) such as:

· The Longest-Held Republican US Senate Seats

· US Senate Special Elections by the Numbers

· Unusual Entrances: Clergymen Turned US Senators

· Harry Byrd's Death Leaves 167 Living Ex-Senators

· The Third Wheel: States with the Most 3rd Party US Senate Candidacies

Some reports focused on members of both legislative chambers:

· Clockwatchers: Capitol Hill Republicans Showcase 'Debt Clocks' on Websites

· Unusual Exits: 6 Members of Congress Killed by Accidental Gunshots

· 64 Percent of 9/11 Legislators Are Out of Congress

Forty-two reports addressed governorships or upcoming gubernatorial contests across the country (20 percent):

· The Most Competitive States for Gubernatorial Elections Since 1900

· The Five-Timers Club: Gubernatorial Edition

· The Top 50 Longest-Serving Governors of All Time

· 7 Gubernatorial Election Double-Takes

· Which States Have the Highest Rates of Female Gubernatorial Nominees?

· Plurality Blues: Governors on the Hot Seat

Another 26 reports focused on the presidency (12 percent):

· Who's #1? The Media's 2016 Republican Field

· The Death of Presidents: Beware of June and July

· Obama Has Mentioned Terrorism Nearly 1,500 Times as President

· Presidential Commencement Addresses: Notre Dame Reigns

· George H.W. Bush: Hater of Broccoli

· Pollsters Ignoring Rick Perry's 2016 'Campaign'

An additional four percent of reporting addressed other political offices or institutions.

The plurality of Smart Politics reporting in 2013 focused on national politics, regional politics, or politics and campaigns across multiple states (79 reports, or 37.1 percent).

However, stand alone reports were also written on political developments in 37 different states led by Smart Politics' home state of Minnesota (33) and followed by South Dakota and Wisconsin (eight each), Iowa, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania (six), Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia (five), and Kentucky, New Hampshire, and New Jersey (four).

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Remains of the Data

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

Mary Burke: English First?

While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


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